Made in Michiana: J&B Boards
ABC 57's Made in Michiana heads to J&B Boards in Granger.
J&B Boards President, Mike Kish, is a father to two boys with a love of longboarding. That love quickly grew into a family business.
“The idea and inspiration was basically this board here which was the board for my youngest son. That was fun and it worked out OK, but we knew we needed more,” Kish said.
With the help of a friend, Kish designed a one-of-a-kind longboard.
“A friend of mine, he’s got a background in engineering, his name is Ryan Miller. He was over at my office just hanging out, looking for a project to do and I just happened to notice the board in the corner of my office and I said let’s come up with a frame,” Kish said.
Their quest for a better board eventually led Kish to start his own company, J&B Boards. It's named after his two sons.
“There’s nobody out there making anything like this at all,” Kish said.
So what's so special about these longboards?
“They offer a couple things. One they’ve got a different feel than a wood board. They glide really nice. There’s a rubber gimp that goes around the entire platform so it cushions the entire ride,” Kish said.
Not only does the design offer a smooth ride, they're sturdy too.
“Polycarbonate is what they use for bulletproof glass that sort of thing. So you can’t break these,” Kish said.
It's that durability that sets them apart from your average wood board.
“We have a lot of people out west buying them right now because they like them to get wet. Wood boards get wet, they fall apart,” Kish said.
Kish custom makes the graphics for each one to give them a personalized feel.
“You can go to the website and actually pick out your graphic, pick your board color out and build your own board yourself and design it just the way you want it,” Kish said.
Every rider, a part of what he now calls "the J and B family."
Now, boards are sold in almost every state, and there's interest around the globe.
“As far as sales and that sort of thing, we really don’t know. It’s a kind of scary thing. We actually put a limit on the website just because I was afraid we might wake up one and go, ‘oh. We need 5,000 of these things,’” Kish said.
Kish says this is just the beginning of what could be, one wild ride.
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